A Very English Prepper
I've been prepping for over 10 years. Now, I want to share how you can get started.
Why Quail Are The Perfect Animals For Hard Times
I've already previously mentioned how important I think these birds are to anyone aiming to have any level of food self-sufficiency. In the article Growing Food In Your Flat, I briefly went into why I think they're the perfect animals for our limited UK space, even if you have no garden at all.
5 UK Food Gardeners To Watch
I can only imagine how jealous my ancestors would have been at the wealth of information we now have with the internet. While books are a vital resource I think everyone should have (especially since the likely-hood of cyber attacks are more and more common) being able to watch a specialised video about how to grow potatoes, tomatoes or rainbow chard is a massive time saver. So many of us are visual learners. I certainly am! While I am a huge reader, nothing makes information "click" faster in my brain than seeing it. So with that in mind, today I wanted to recommend five UK You Tube channels on gardening to help speed up the learning curve to food self sufficiency. All of the following suggestions are linked, so just click on the name, sit back and enjoy soaking in the wealth of information.
Peparing For Next Winter
If you live in the UK, you've seen the cost of heating absolutely skyrocket. At the time of writing this article, it's currently April, and I'm looking at a lovely week ahead in the high teens. It's a little nippy, but manageable in the house, and after 4 years of living without central heating, I've gotten used to being a little cold. With this warmer weather it feels like there is a collective sense of relief that we can start turning the thermostat down, but the part that worries me is what happens once we reach the end of the summer. That is when it's all going to get very Dickensian.
I Want To Store Food
During the first lockdowns we all saw what fear can do. Before the introduction of a kind of rationing by the shops, I saw SO many people who had piled their carts up with what was clearly panicked swipes at the shelves. Bags of potatoes, perishable items, enough toilet paper to re-wrap all the pharaohs and all the rice and pasta they could get their hands on. Less than two weeks later I saw bins on my street full of food. Veg which had expired, impulse buys the buyer didn't even like to eat, and so, so many spoiled fruits and veggies.
How To Start Prepping
Controversial, I know, but you should never start your prepping journey by instantly running to the shops. Look, I get it. Sometimes that wave of hopelessness hits you and you're sure that if you just buy all the rice, all the toilet paper and all of the flour, you'll feel better. Well, you might...for all of an hour, maybe two. Then you'll realise that some of that food you impulse bought doesn't have a place to go, you're not particularly fond of how it taste's anyway and now you feel helpless all over again. There was no approach at all, just a panicked reaction. This fear will be your biggest danger, and developing a calm careful approach to everything will be the first and most important way to mentally build resilience.
What Supplies To Collect For Food Security
"Start with beans and rice and then, rice and beans". Ok, rice and beans are a good start, but they're not all you should be collecting. As I mentioned in my precious articles, food is not just about providing the basic fuel to run your body. It serves an emotional support aspect too. If you honestly think that you can last for months eating the same plain mean again and again, well, go ahead. No, seriously. I challenge you to make yourself eat just rice and beans, breakfast, lunch and dinner every. single. day. If you last two weeks I'll be impressed. If you last a month without starting to feel worn down and like life has a little less colour in it, I'm calling you a liar.
We're Heading Into WW3
Unfortunately, I come from a long line of survivors. My abuela survived ww2 in her childhood, along with surviving her own abusive mother. A little over 20 years later, her daughter (my mother - who was only 11 years old at the time) was growing the families food because that was the only way to ensure they could eat. This was not some romantic farmhouse-chic trend. This was grow food or be hungry, simple as that. This time round it was a personal disaster, not a world war, but in many ways there is not much of a difference between the two. These experiences carved themselves permanently into my family's psyche. I was often told about the teachers who would steal food my my abuela's lunch box at school because they themselves were so hungry. Adults stealing from children because they couldn't fight the pain from hunger. Could you even imagine doing that? I'm sure those teachers could never have seen them selves doing that, yet they did when the pain became too much. My mama has always fiercely opposed to any kind of food waste, and when you consider that at 11 years old she was tasked with raising (and butchering) the chickens and rabbits that they raised for food, it's hardly surprising. While my ancestors are farmers, neither my mother or my grandparents were farmers, and their only reference to survive this new reality was a copy of The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency by John Seymour. I can't imagine having that enormous responsibility on my shoulders at 11.